The school where I work is in another state, in a tiny little town, and is a 50 minute commute for me. There are positives to living so far from work. The main one is that I run a very small risk of running into anyone from school while doing errands. This comes in handy when I am shopping at my local Walmart while wearing black yoga pants, a navy blue t-shirt, no make-up, crazy messy hair and pushing the cart with the squeakiest wheel, carrying a case of Bud Light, and pulling along the screamiest toddler who is covered in slobbery goldfish and missing one shoe. Definitely not a time I want to run into a coworker or a student from my school!
Another positive is that I have a lot of down time after a rough day to decompress on my drive home before I greet my kiddos. Of course, it can also be a bad thing when I decompress too much and my eyelids start getting heavy and I start nodding my head like a bobblehead or someone at a Metallica concert and then those annoying bumpy things on the side of the road interrupt what was turning into a pretty sound afternoon nap.
There are also some definite downsides to working so far from home. 110,000+ miles on my car is one. Couple that with the arm and leg I’ve lost from filling my beast of a car with gas every other day, and the driving quickly becomes a very expensive downside.
The other major downside, and probably the biggest, is that if I want to be to school on time (7:45), I have to leave my house by 6:55. If I have to drop off Little Man at daycare, I have to leave at 6:45. If I have to drop off the older two at the before school care, I have to leave by 6:30, which means I have to wake up at 5:15 to get myself and the kids ready, which means I didn’t get nearly enough sleep, which means I’m a crabby mess by 2:30…… you get the picture.
Luckily for me, it is rare that I actually have to be to school by 7:45. I can usually roll in about 8:30 or so and just stay until 5:00 and it all evens out in the end. But, there are some days when I do have to be on time for a meeting, which leads me to the title of this post.
This morning I had to leave before the kids woke up for a before school meeting. Luckily my husband was able to take them where they needed to go this morning. Unluckily, it was school picture day. School picture day is not a huge deal for Mr. Wizard because (a) he’s a boy, and (b) he’s in 3rd grade so he’s been through it before. But for 5 year old Sassafrass, it is a HUGE deal because (a) she’s a girl, (b) she’s in Kindergarten, and (c) pretty much everything is a huge deal for the little drama queen.
Sassafrass has been cursed with hair like mine. It is not straight and it is not curly, but it is not wavy either, it’s just yucky. Even if she starts the day off with nice, combed hair, by the time she gets out of the garage, her hair is a tangled, knotty mess. So, we do ponytails or braids or braided ponytails almost every day to keep her hair out of her face and to minimize the tangles. But on picture day, we do not want ponytails or braids or braided ponytails, so the only logical option? Curls with a curling iron.
This would have been a fine option, except that I was not going to be home to do it. I considered many options. I considered asking my mom to come over and fix her hair in the morning, but she lives too far away and she had to work too. I thought about asking one of the neighbors for help, but they all have boys so I didn’t think they were any better off than my husband. I considered putting curlers in her hair the night before, but we have done that before with mixed results. Sometimes she ends up looking cute, othertimes she ends up looking like a cross between Shirley Temple and the Donald. I thought about having my husband take her to a salon in the morning before school, but decided that was a little ridiculous. I also considered having her stay home from school and just do the picture retakes, but decided that was a little stupid. I also entertained the idea of waking her up at 6:45 so I could just do her hair myself, but knew that if she got woken up that early there would be no smiling for her photos no matter how great her hair looked. I could picture her glaring at the poor photographer and informing him that she did not have enough beauty sleep and that he would have to reschedule her when it was more convenient.
In the end I decided to curl her hair the night before and then have my husband fix it up in the morning if it needed it. We had a mini lesson on how to use a curling iron. I’m pretty sure he managed to burn his hand in 5 places as well as her head trying to do one curl. But he seemed to get the hang of it after awhile.
This morning I got up and tiptoed out of the house while everyone was still asleep. Well, theoretically that’s what I attempted to do. My husband would inform you that I turned on a bunch of lights and kept stubbing my toe on the bed and muttering swear words. When I had a chance at work I texted my husband to ask how the hair fixing went. He replied that it was fine once he figured out that he had to turn the sucker on.
We will find out in a couple weeks how she looked for her photos. I really don’t care that much about the actual photos. I have about 35.6 billion photos of Sassafrass for every week of her life. I just didn’t want her to be “that kid” who came to school looking like a ragamuffin on school picture day and have her teacher whisper about her “did you see that her mother didn’t even comb her hair?”.
How much do you want to bet that she probably closed her eyes and will have to do the picture retakes after all? Well, at least now she has two parents who can help fix up her ‘do!